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The Curation Crisis
Winter/Spring 1995, vol. 7 (4)

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*  Feature articles

(photo) Mouse eating through basket.

"Imagine you hear about an archeology project . . . that could lead to a breakthrough in your research. Except that now . . . the federal agency that sponsored the project has no idea where any of [the material] went, nor the time or resources to look."

"The Curation Crisis," S. Terry Childs

*  The Curation Crisis by S. Terry Childs

Serious, but not insurmountable--thatís archeologist S. Terry Childís take on the curation problem. After years of neglect, the issue is finally galvanizing groups with clout.

*  "Worse than Bondage Itself" by Sharyn Kane and Richard Keeton

The surface of the Richard B. Russell Lake is smooth and calm, but it cannot conceal the brute determination of water to live up to its nature: occupy the lowest ground, climb, erode, dissolve . . . water pressure eternal. The tenant farmhouse where Minnie Walker grew up is gone. Her father's peach orchard and the house where her husband proposed to her are a watery oblivion. Algae and its underwater allies have claimed what was once Millwood Plantation. Gone, too, are places like Sweet City, Rose Hill, and Flatwoods, tiny rural enclaves whose names, though never printed on maps, had the ring of home and family to the African Americans who lived along this stretch of the Savannah.

The many little histories that give a place texture and dimension are elusive and fragile. Uncared for, they tend toward atrophy and quiet extinction.

The Russell Lake covers a lot of history, but thanks to the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, it owns none of it. The following, from In Those Days: African-American Life Near the Savannah River, was taken from the second book spawned by the federally mandated study of the area, now submerged by dam. Both were published by the NPS Southeast Regionís Interagency Archeological Services Division in association with the Corps.

 

 

MJB/EJL